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russia probe

As Russia probe ramps up, lawyers warn Trump aides not to lie to protect him

President Trump's aides are being warned not to try to "protect" their boss if they are questioned by Special Counsel Robert Mueller or congressional investigators in the ongoing Russia probe, Politico reports. "What I always tell clients is, you can't protect anybody," said one lawyer representing a person targeted by the investigation. An attempt to cover up for Trump, the lawyer added, makes things "worse for everybody."

Among the aides expected to be called in for interviews in the coming weeks is former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, newly minted Communications Director Hope Hicks, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and Trump's longtime personal secretary Rhona Graff. Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and the president's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, are also under intense scrutiny.

While Trump demands loyalty from those in his orbit, lying under oath can earn aides charges of perjury, false statements, or obstruction of justice if they are found out. "The lesson to be always learned is loyalty is one thing, but are you prepared to go to jail for it?" said Robert Ray, who served as the Whitewater special counsel. "The answer to that question should be no."

Ray then put it more bluntly: "Loyalty is not a two-way street. A lot of young people go to the White House and they're going to be loyal to the president and the president is going to be loyal to me. Bulls--t." Read the full report at Politico.